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Portland sneaks a point at FC Dallas

Mar 18, 2012 - 3:02 AM Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers are off to a much improved start to the 2012 season as John Spencer's men followed up a superb opening day win with a solid 1-1 road draw against FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday.

One of Portland's major concerns heading into the new season was how the club would perform on the road. But after Blas Perez put Dallas in front in the first half, Darlington Nagbe rescued the Timbers with a second-half strike to earn a share of the points for the visitors.

FC Dallas grabbed the lead through Perez in the 23rd minute. Schellas Hyndman's new striker enjoyed a great debut against Red Bull New York last weekend as he provided the assists on both FC Dallas goals, but this time Perez turned scorer. He was spot on in the box to stuff home a rebound off a shot from Bryan Leyva.

Lovel Palmer came close to leveling the score in the 36th minute when he nodded a free kick delivery toward goal, but his effort struck the post before being cleared to safety by the FC Dallas defense.

Portland eventually did equalize as the Timbers capitalized on a defensive miscue from Dallas six minutes into the second half. A failed clearance from Kevin Hartman was not collected by the Dallas midfield, and Nagbe retained possession to beat Hartman on a breakaway.

The Timbers have taken four points from their opening two matches, a great start for a team with postseason aspirations in the stacked Western Conference. Portland will return to league action on March 24 when it heads to the Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution, who are winless in their opening two matches.

Dallas has also taken four points from its first two games, both of which were at home. Hyndman's team will hit the road for the first time as it travels to Livestrong Sporting Park for a tough test against unbeaten Sporting Kansas City on March 25.